I am sorry to break it to you – but at some point, you are going to kick the bucket. (You Are Going To Die). Whether tomorrow or in 100 years’ time, your life is going to end. You will cease to be. That is a hard fact for many people (including myself) to accept, but we must come to terms with it.
To face this positively, I swear by the Bucket List. I have a list of all the things I want to do before I die. I always maintain it, add to it, review it every now and again – and most importantly – I take action on it. In fact, this year I have taken on a new virtual assistant who is in charge of organising and delivering the bucket list for me and my family.
This week, I am currently at a conference in Las Vegas. Last week, I had no plans to be here at all. But one of the items on my bucket list was to visit Zappos, the Amazon company run by Tony Hsieh – and if you read his book Delivering Happiness, you will understand why. I have a huge interest in companies with incredible cultures. An opportunity came up to go to a conference, visit the company in Las Vegas, and meet Tony. I happened to be in San Francisco that week anyway, so I said my favourite words: ‘Fuck it!’ and just changed everything to make it happen.
I know I will get a ‘Return on Adventure’ from doing it. I know I will make connections, generate ideas and get energy from it. I know that by having fun and going with my gut instinct, great things will happen. I have no idea what they will be, but I trust they will appear. That’s just the way life works when you seize an opportunity and go with the flow.
Now, I am not saying it is an easy or cheap way of living. It requires thought, resources and innovation to be able to do what I do, and it is not always easy to balance family life with this approach. But this mentality delivers high returns. First, it requires that my acceptance that I am going to ‘just do it’.
If you constantly say no to things, you don’t see the great life that’s available to you. Your eyes begin to close and you don’t even see opportunity, let alone recognise its potential. There is good fortune all around us! ‘So called ‘lucky’ people take advantage of every opportunity. They create their own luck.
People who are positive and grab the opportunities around them are usually happier and more successful in life. Research confirms this, and the evidence is quite clear – don’t hold back to be successful. Let go. That is the secret. Don’t defer life to succeed. Live life.
If you are a parent, the buck doesn’t stop with you. If you say no to your dreams, by your own example, you are telling our children that it is OK to deny their own dreams. Think about what that means! Even putting your kids first at cost to yourself, or teaching your kids to hold back and save for a rainy day, can prevent their potential happiness and success. The implications of this are awesome to reflect upon.
There are few things I want for my son in life, but my main desire is for him to be happy, and to live his dreams. If I can’t be happy and live my own dreams, how on earth can I expect him to do the same?
I am sure to be criticised for saying this, but I believe that being selfish is most selfless, in the long term. (CLICK TO TWEET)
Life has taught me that there are high Returns on Adventure. – for family, for life, for business and most importantly, for me.
So, if you haven’t got a Bucket List yet, for God’s sake, wake up to the fact that you are going to die and at least make sure you live life to the full until that happens! Have aims and ideas of what you might do, before it’s too late. List your desires and your longed-for adventures. And most importantly, set about making those dreams a reality. Ticking off those items on your list is satisfying enough – let alone the spin-off experiences and opportunities, and the personal qualities you acquire as your return on adventure.
And if you already have that list written up, don’t delay taking action to achieve each goal. Life goes on without you. Don’t go on without life! Don’t put off your dreams. Realise them.
Get busy living – now!
PS: If you have any great ideas for things to do before you die, firstname.lastname@example.org or write in the comments section below.
If the above topic, or indeed any of my blogs are of interest to you, then contact me and let’s talk! Drop me an email at email@example.com.